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Empire B33 Solenoid engine


This engine looks, at first glance, like a steam engine. In fact, it's a purely electrically powered solenoid engine.

Inside what appears to be a boiler is a 115V mains transformer, supplying 24V to the engine. The current is directed to the correct solenoid coils by means of a lever type commutator, which is operated by an eccentric on the crankshaft. The solenoids pull the con rod back and forth to rotate the crankshaft. The solenoid coils are located inside the base under the dummy cylinder.

As acquired, all of the wiring, both high and low voltage, was using rubber covered wires. The rubber, of course, had perished so all of the wiring had to be replaced. The on/off switch design was such that it could not be rewired, so I replaced the switch as well.

The top cover of the dummy boiler is missing and I have temporarily fitted a cap from a jam jar for safety's sake until I can find the correct part. The dummy governor is also missing but that is purely cosmetic.

Make Empire
Model B33
Date Made 1930s?
Description Solenoid engine
Cylinders 0
Cylinder Type
Bore mm
Stroke mm 20
Mechanical Condition Good
Cosmetic Condition Poor
Paintwork Original
Purchased 22 April 2020
Purchase cost $141.44
Additional cost 10